Have you ever heard of American scholar Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey”? No? Well, follow me for a minute. Campbell suggests that we live in an ordinary world and are then called to adventure because of some sort of pressure or challenge. We then refuse the call because of fear, anxiety, uncertainty, or possible danger. That’s natural. Somewhere along this journey, however, we meet a mentor who gives us wisdom and courage to keep going. We commit and leave the familiar for unfamiliar territory where we’re tested and challenged, and yet, we succeed–despite the odds, and we return empowered and changed for the better.
Now, Campbell’s theory is usually applied to fiction. Consider the following: Harry Potter needs Voldemort to realize his potential and save the Wizard community. Simba needs Scar to fulfill his destiny and save the kingdom. While these are fictional scenarios, everyone sets out on some sort of Hero’s Journey to make the world a better place. In life, we are called to an adventure, face difficult challenges, and have to make a decision. We are currently living in a moment where we’re all being tested and grappling with a lot of anger, confusion, and frustration, and it’s manifesting itself in a variety of ways. It may feel like we’re either heading toward darkness or are already in a perpetual state of despair, and as difficult as it may be, my hope is that you will be the light we so desperately need. Sometimes it is only in the darkness that we’re reminded of how much we need the good, how much we have to be the good. But first, we have to answer the call.
Whether or not you were one of the 3.2 million (and counting) individuals who marched this weekend, I believe we’re all being called right now. Called to treat people, regardless of the color of their skin, religion, class, ability, or age, with kindness, love, and respect. Called to stand up against injustice, discrimination, inequality, inequity, and bullying in all of its forms. Called to embody and uphold the Golden Rule: to treat others the way we wish to be treated. Called to change this world for the better so that it benefits all, not just some. Called to consistently spread messages of hope and love and encourage and empower others to do the same. We are being called right now. Will you answer?